Holy Rollers: movie review

A young orthodox Jew gets seduced into drug running in ‘Holy Rollers,’ only to find that life gets nastily complicated.

  • close
    In this film publicity image released by First Independent Films, Jesse Eisenberg, right, and Justin Bartha are shown in a scene from 'Holy Rollers.'
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Holy Rollers” probably sounded like a good idea on paper, plus it’s “inspired by” a true story. Sam Gold, a Brooklyn Hasid training for the rabbinate, becomes a drug courier. How could such a high concept sink so low?

A big reason is that, as Sam, Jesse Eisenberg, despite being perfectly cast, is lackluster. He never bothers to fill in the role. We get little sense of how Sam feels about the Orthodox community he is rebelling against, what it means to him, or how he feels about being so successful (for a time) in his new “trade.”

His drug-smuggling underworld, specifically the Amsterdam-New York connection, is likewise drably depicted. Is this because director Kevin Asch and screenwriter Antonio Macia deliberately played it down, or are they just incompetent? I’ll be charitable and vote for the former, but sometimes sensationalism is preferable to being altogether unsensational. Grade: C- (Rated R for drug content and language throughout, and brief sexual material.)

More Monitor movie reviews

Looking for Eric

Shrek Forever After

Solitary Man

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK